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10.21.2004

Petard/Hoisted 

In French, a petard is a firecracker or explosive (it's related to the word for "fart"). I'm not sure how one can be hoisted upon one's own firecracker, but Peter Magowan in his online chat yesterday did exactly that. The question was why don't the Giants get a better hitter to protect Bonds. Here's what Pee-Mag said (or typed):

Magowan: We have many things to work on to try to improve the team, and obviously, we would like to give Barry better protection. But let's face facts -- we could have Babe Ruth hitting behind him and Barry would still get walked. When Jeff Kent hit behind him in 2002, Barry walked 200 times -- and Kent was an MVP-type player.

But My Dearest Peter (and believe me, I'll write this in a letter and send it to him), if Babe Ruth hit behind Bonds, the Giants would score even more runs. They would lead the league in runs. They would score more runs than humanly possible. Yes, when Jeff Kent hit behind Bonds, Barry was still walked...AND JEFF KENT WON THE FRICKIN MVP. AND THE GIANTS WENT TO THE WORLD SERIES. When TuckAlfonZynski hit behind Bonds, the Giants didn't score enough runs to overcome their crap pitching and defense.

Magowan goes on:

Despite the lack of a slugger hitting behind him, offense was not the problem for the Giants. Last year, we scored 850 runs -- second only (by five runs) to the famous St. Louis Cardinals offense. On the other hand, our pitching ranked 11th and our defense eighth. When we were in the playoffs, our pitching was a prime reason why we got there.

If you truly believe that it's better to spend more money on pitching and defense, fine. That's your prerogative. Better pitching and defense might well have won the Giants a division title this year. But scoring more runs would have won more games, too. Look at the top four teams this year: spotty starting pitching after the No. 1 and 2 guys, and lineups that sacrifice defense for offense (except for the Cardinals). OK, and dominant closers. If the Giants were able to nail down a third of the games they blew late...oh, hell. Here's the rest of Magowan's chat. It's definitely worth reading.

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